Hydrocortisone side effect?

Patient

Q: I have had addison's disease for over 25 years and take 75 mg of hydrocortisone. I have developed quite a double chin and have been told that this is from the medication. Is this true? What gland is it and is there anything I can do about it. If I considered having it surgically removed, wouldn't it develop again?

Doctor

A:   Hydrocortisone and similar steroids are known to cause weight gain, particularly when taken excessively. The weight gain is usually central, that is, affecting the abdomen, face and neck.  Your 'double chin' is not caused from an enlargement of a gland but rather from an increase in fat in this area. Thus to fix this problem requires cosmetic surgery after consultation with a plastic surgeon. Liposuction and/or neck lift would be the procedures performed.

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